Medicated to Death?

Medicated to Death

Medicated to Death Infographic

Medicated to DEATH Americans are increasingly prescribed medications that help them get more sleep, feel less stress. and also have more energy to accomplish a seemingly endless list of daily tasks. But is this really a good thing? Let’s take a look at how overmedication can be affecting our health. 

medicated to death

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State of Health

How much medication are we taking, and why?

  • Nearly 7 in 10 Americans who take at least one prescription drug (1)
  • 1 in 5 People who take five or more prescriptions (1)
  • 100 million Americans affected by chronic pain (2)
  • 80% Proportion of the world’s painkillers consumed in the United States (3)
  • 1 in 4 American adults who are unhappy with their sleep patterns (4)
  • 60 million Prescriptions Americans filled for sleeping pills in 2011, up from 47 million in 2006 (5)
  • 4 in 5 Americans prescribed antibiotics each year (6)

The Risks of Overmedication

  • 40% People who become addicted to benzodiazepines (like some sleeping pills or anxiety medication) after taking them daily for more than 6 weeks (7)
  • Every 19 minutes, a person dies from prescription drug overdose (3)
  • 2 million Annual number of drug-resistant bacterial infections in the U.S. (8)

Why Are We Medicated to Death: Causes of Overmedication?

Every patient is different, but some common themes emerge in considering potential overmedication.

  • Increase in chronic conditions, like heart disease and also diabetes
  • Rapidly aging population, which means more people need to take medications
  • Cost of expensive testing vs. prescription costs

Sources:
1. https://www.drugfree.org
2. https://www.painmed.org
3. https://www.cnn.com
4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com
5. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com
6. https://www.cbsnews.com
7. https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk
8. https://www.cdc.gov


Related:

Sandra Janowicz
Author

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief